By Keith Hackett

20th Sep, 2021 | 8:00pm

Ex-Premier League referee fumes at 'laughable' Leicester-Vestergaard controversy

Keith Hackett has branded the decision to award Brighton & Hove Albion a penalty against Leicester City as a “joke”.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-FIFA and Premier League referee cannot believe Stuart Attwell did not award Leicester a free kick after consulting his assistant.

Jannik Vestergaard was being pulled back by Neal Maupay as he attempted to win a header from a Brighton corner.

However, he was unable to get his head on the ball as it struck his arm.

Maupay subsequently tucked away the penalty to open the scoring in the Seagulls’ 2-1 home win.

Asked for his assessment of the incident, Hackett told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Oh, deary me, a joke decision.

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“The referee is in a good position. The Leicester City player is clearly being grabbed so there’s your offence.

“The attacker has got hold of him, pulled him to the ground and the arm has gone up because he’s going backwards, the ball has struck his arm and it’s a foul.

“Then to see the referee, Stuart Attwell, who had a good season to date, to go and consult with his assistant. I don’t know what that was about. Attwell’s in position and this is a poor decision to give a penalty kick.

“This was a grabbing and holding offence that should have been penalised and if he wants to see how that is done, look at the Wolves-Brentford game with Darren England where it was perhaps more obvious. But this was laughable.”

In other news, two clubs are racing to sign a midfielder who quit Spurs after rejecting a new contact.